Tips for Good Dental Health

Toothbrush with toothpaste

Going to the dentist may not be your favorite thing to do but taking care of your teeth and gums is important. The best way to have a happy and pain free visit at the dentist is to do your part every 6 months before and after each visit. Follow these tips for good dental health and you might just be your dentist’s favorite patient.

  1. Floss – You hear it every time you go to the dentist and for good reason, you should be flossing daily. Plaque generates acid, which can cause cavities, irritate the gums, and lead to gum disease. “Each tooth has five surfaces. If you don’t floss, you are leaving at least two of the surfaces unclean,” Wheeler explains. “Floss is the only thing that can really get into that space between the teeth and remove bacteria.” Flossing is not just important it is vital to properly cleaning your teeth and helping to prevent cavities, gum disease and tooth decay.
  2. Brush regularly – If you are unable to brush your teeth after eating be sure to rinse your mouth out with water. You should be brushing two to three times a day, and you need to brush thoroughly. You will also want to replace your tooth brush every two to three months. Make sure you focus on the front and back of your teeth and gently brush up towards your gums. According to http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/brushing- teeth-mistakes you should spend at least 2 minutes brushing your teeth so make sure you are putting in enough time. Also, “Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and make an up-and- down motion. Use short strokes. Brush outer and inner tooth surfaces, back molars, and your tongue. Since brushing is your primary defense against cavities, gum disease and tooth decay make the time and effort to do a complete job.
  3. See your dentist every 6 months – Your dentist is your partner in maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can do a deep cleaning that you are not able to. Your dentist can also work with you to address problem areas and give you good advice on how to prevent further issues. Your dentist should work hand in hand with you to help you achieve optimum health and a bright smile. Your dentist is able to take X-rays and see potential issues that may not be immediately apparent. Your dentist can also work with you to strategize how to address existing issues such as treating gum disease which depending on the severity you may be able to treat from home or a surgical intervention might be necessary.

4. Take care of small problems before they become big problems – Gum disease is a perfect example of a small problem that can lead to big problems. If you skip your regularly scheduled visits to the dentist a minor problem like gum disease can go unnoticed and untreated. Over time gum disease can lead to infected and damaged teeth. According to: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/periodontaldisease/whatisgumperiodontaldisease/01.html, Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection of the gums and surrounding tissues that hold teeth in place. The two forms of gum disease are gingivitis, a mild form that is reversible with good oral hygiene, and periodontitis, a more severe form that can damage the soft tissues and bone that support teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. In its early stages, gum disease is usually painless, and many people are not aware that they have it. In more advanced cases, gum disease can cause sore gums and pain when chewing.” In an extreme case, undiagnosed gum disease can cause tooth decay and eventually tooth loss. If the gum disease is diagnosed at your dental visit before it becomes severe you can work with your dentist to minimize the damage and keep your teeth and gums healthy.

5. Talk to your dentist – Your dentist should not be the person you dread seeing every six months. Your dentist is the person working hard to help keep you healthy and your smile beautiful. If you have concerns about your oral health talk to your dentist. If you are thinking of using a new mouthwash daily to help prevent plaque, consult your dentist. Your dentist has years of education and experience to help you make good decisions for your continued oral health. Make the most of the partnership and communicate your questions and concerns to your dentist.

Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be challenging. By maintaining the health of your teeth and gums all year round you can help your dental team make your appointments as painless as possible. Communicate with your dentist and attend your dental check-ups every six months. By maintaining consistent visits and open communication you and your dentist can successfully partner for your oral health and dental success.